By Kevin Cloe
Freshmen Zach Dalley and Coy Bowser will lead Wickenburg High School’s young wrestling team to the Division IV Section 1 wrestling championships at Odyssey Institute High School in Buckeye this Saturday, Feb. 8 after placing fourth at the 31st annual Rocky Nelson Invitational tournament in Mogollon last weekend.
Dalley, wrestling as ninth-ranked at 126 pounds with a 16-23 record, came through the consolation bracket to qualify for the third-place match against American Leadership Academy’s Brandon Hartman. He had to settle for fourth place after being pinned by second-ranked Hartman in the second period.
He lost his first-round match in the championship bracket to eighth-ranked Gavin Fun of Fountain Hills and then won with three consecutive pins before facing second-ranked Hartman
Bowser, ranked fourth at 170 pounds with a 34-11 record, reached the semifinals of the championship bracket before being pinned by Arizona Lutheran’s undefeated and top-ranked Gavin Davis (55-0). He then moved into the consolation bracket where he won two matches before losing an 18-3 decision to second-ranked Brik Skousen of Thatcher.
Those two, along with about eight of his teammates, will now compete in the sectionals against 12 other schools — Camp Verde, Arizona Lutheran, Odyssey Institute, River Valley, San Pasqual, Yuma Catholic, Bourgade Catholic, Mayer, Northwest Christian, Phoenix Christian, Antelope Union and Parker.
Two other teammates made it to the medal matches at Mogollon last weekend — sophomore Vince Rodriguez placing fifth at 120 pounds and sophomore Michael Bowie placing fifth at 182 pounds.
Rodriguez entered that tournament with the team’s best season record, 37-7, while Bowie started that weekend with a 27-20 record.
Four other Wranglers participated at the Mogollon tournament but were eliminated early — freshman Levi Bindle (24-26 record) at 132 pounds, junior Daniel Rodriguez (29-18) at 138, senior Caleb Dreyer (17-16) at 160, and senior Sam Jones (10-10) at 195 pounds.